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Posted at: Apr 24, 2019, 7:15 AM; last updated: Apr 24, 2019, 7:15 AM (IST)

Hallo Majra residents cry for basic amenities

Blame successive governments for failing to help
Hallo Majra residents cry for basic amenities
An open drain in Hallo Majra. Tribune photo

Kaveesha Kohli
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, April 23

Residents of Hallo Majra still struggle with proper access to basic amenities such as housing, water, drainage and education. As the nation heads towards the Lok Sabha election, the poorest in these colonies blame successive governments for their failure in helping them.

“Neither the Congress nor the BJP has done anything for us,” said Reshma, who lives in a rented accommodation. “I filled up a form for the allotment of a house two or three years ago, but so far, I haven’t heard anything from the authorities, she added.

Another woman, a shopkeeper who pays Rs 4,000 house rent every month, said she remembered filling up a form under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna, but to no avail. “The landlord keeps increasing the rent. We are poor people, how are we supposed to afford this?” she added.

The BJP failed to keep its promise that they would help increase the daily wages of the labourers residing in Hallo Majra, rued a welder. “I see no point in voting,” he said.

Overflowing sewage, unclean water cause of worry

Though Hallo Majra has attained access to a pucca road, water and sewage connections, residents continue to have problems with the new infrastructure. Tajinder Singh said the sewage connections had not been laid in all areas of Hallo Majra. Sometimes the sewage got mixed with the water supply line, which was a cause for concern.

In January this year, residents had complained of overflowing sewage and foul smell. Even today, the problem exists in some areas. “Once my neighbour called up one of the councillors complaining about the problem, the councillor replied if 30,000 persons live in a place meant for 300, this is bound to happen and disconnected the phone,” Tajinder added.

Area councillor Bharat Kumar and city MP Kirron Kher were unavailable for comment. A woman, who was collecting water from a tap near a water tanker in Hallo Majra, said, “Most of us take drinking water from this tap. Earlier, we would drink water coming to our homes, but then we would fall sick frequently.”

However, according to Pradeep Sarkar, a chemist, the BJP government has done “wonderful work” in the area. “Earlier we would have to wait for a water tank for water. Now, we have everything — water, drainage and a road,” he said and added, “I want Modi to win. And from Chandigarh, it should be Sanjay Tandon only.”

Installation of cameras only development in school

An encounter with two schoolchildren revealed that several children consumed intoxicants and tobacco on the premises itself. Another child was spotted purchasing cigarettes.

“The only thing that has changed in our school is the installation of cameras,” the children said.

Hallo Majra has one government school and one civil dispensary. A demand by residents for a small hospital has not been met yet.

Lack of policing

Ranjit Singh, a resident who lives near the Hallo Majra’s only park, said, “Every day after 11 pm, some men gather in the park and consume alcohol and drugs and create ruckus. We have complained to the police several times, but nothing has happened.”

Vendors opposite the beat box in Hallo Majra, claimed that a policeman came there once in few days.

Over the years, several cases of vehicle thefts, robbery at homes, shops and godowns have been reported from Hallo Majra.

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